21.07.2013 - 11.08.2013
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Still staying close to home, we visited The Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary. We'd heard great things and although the ranch offers day tours and night feeding tours, we decided to start with the day tours. The Catty Shack is a not for profit refuge for lions, tigers, cougars, bobcats and a few others. You can get fairly close to the cats as they are mostly sleeping during the day. One high point during our visit was hearing two of the three male lions roaring at each other, albeit encouraged by the curator Curt. Curt 'roared' at one of the cats who then started roaring at his fellow lion at the other end of the park. It was Apache the cougar's birthday and he was presented with a special cake and present but he was not keen about leaving his den at the time. Perhaps he also wasn't keen in appearing in the documentary that was being filmed at the time!
It started raining right at the end of our tour which was great timing for a little face painting. This was the first time Carys had sat still long enough to have her face properly face painted and she loved the end result!
The start of August saw us watch our first live game of NFL at Everbank Field in Jacksonville. We watched the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Miami Dolphins in a preseason game. The mascot of the Jaguars is Jaxon de Ville and he is known to somersault backwards off the top of the light towers into the stadium! The game itself goes for about 3.5 - 4 hours because of all the halts in play and although the Jags are usually placed around the lower end of the ladder, it's still great to be able to say we've seen an NFL game. Spectators start leaving the stadium after the first quarter or so if the Jags aren't playing well which can't be very encouraging for the team.
I couldn't believe the number of players they had on the ground (about 60)! They have a complete offensive and defensive team (made up off 11 players each) which they switch if the team with the ball scores or is forced to give up possession, (the offensive team goes on defense and the defensive team goes on offense). During the regular season, the preseason team has been whittled down to the main playing team, hence why there were so many of them at this game. The Jaguars are the team in black, gold and teal.
For the last few months, Carys has been participating in an extracurricular activity through her school called TOT or Teams of Tomorrow. TOT is held at her school for 45 minutes every Friday and Carys loves to sing and bounce her new TOT ball every time she comes home. Halfway through the TOT semester, the kids participate in a half time performance at a local basketball game so they can showcase their newly learned skills. These photos are from the summer session of TOT and it was just a performance for parents. Carys was very excited but as soon as the music started she became very shy and refused to participate with her ball until the very end when it was time to perform with the scarves and ribbons. At least she had fun for a little while!
On the way home from TOT we dropped into her school for their open day and visited Miss Nicole and her horse and pony. Carys loved the horse's blue tail and the fact that she could ride him all by herself!